A little bit of heaven is a ripe, fragrant, soft-fleshed banana, mashed with a fork with just a little brown sugar and piled on to thick slices of buttered crusty wholemeal bread. That, and a cup of freshly brewed tea, can give anyone renewed strength in the middle of a working day.
When choosing bananas, remember that to be ripe enough to eat, the skins must be all yellow with no green bits near the stalk. Also, the riper they are the better they taste – sweeter and more fragrant.
A really ripe and ready-to-eat banana will have little brown freckles on its yellow skin, but be warned: ripe and ready means just that, so eat it soon or it might be a little too ripe tomorrow! Remember, too, that bananas come from hot countries and hate the cold, so never, ever put them in the fridge, as the shock of it turns them black.
Bananas also tend to discolour if they are exposed to the air, so if you are preparing them for a recipe they should be tossed in lemon juice if they have to wait around. However, when they're submerged and cut off from the air they stay creamy white with no problem.
The recipe for Toffee-fudge Bananas with Toasted Nuts is one of the simplest and easiest desserts I know.
Rum-soaked fruit and bananas are combined in filo pastry for this wonderful strudel, which looks hugely impressive when served. Add some vanilla ice cream for a dessert to die for!
Rum-soaked raisins and rum in the syllabub mean that this recipe has an alcoholic kick to it… A really lovely dessert that's easy to make and will go down a treat.
Using fresh raspberries for this luscious trifle makes it even more of a treat, with trifle sponges, raspberry jam and custard adding the other dimensions. You could even use a ready-made custard if short of time.
These heavenly little trifles are actually an assembly job with plenty of tropical flavours: rum-soaked sponge, bananas, mangoes and pineapple, topped with a vanilla-infused layer of mascarpone and custard. Who could resist?
Tastes of Mauritius: an Indian Ocean variation on the brandy snap, filled with ice cream then topped with bananas in rum. A great dessert for any time of year that will elicit plenty of approval from all who eat it!